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Nu Fenix
21-04-2009, 18:50
So far I have only played a couple of games, and watched some others, and as such my experience with the game is less then I would like. But since we're all new at it, it allows us all to learn this together.

Currently I think shooting is sub-par, and that with the fast speed of the game, shooting isn't that useful for most of the armies out there.
Whilst shooting has the benefit of being one-sided and thus freeing you from the chance of being hurt back, as well as driving enemies back if they lose a company, the fact that bows are only Strength 1 or 2 means the odds of killing most things in the game is low.

For the same price of units with bows, generally you can get combat units that I feel will be more useful over the long term of the game.

Now, there are exceptions to this which I feel are worth using, although on the whole I feel melee is better.
* Anything with Expert Riders, since you can move full speed, shoot and then still charge.
* Crossbows, as although they can't move and shoot [unless a Heroic Shoot is declared], their high Strength makes up for this, allowing them to have better odds at killing the enemy. Unfortunately they are limited in who can have them, with only Isengard and Fallen Realms [yay!] who can take them as the core part of their army.

I haven't commented on the various warmachines out there, as I haven't seen them used enough to give a statement about them.

So, how effective do you think shooting is within the game, and is it restricted to certain armies and/or units, or does that not matter?

Faeslayer
21-04-2009, 19:16
Well, I've got two types of High Elf right now- Archers and Glaives.

Glaives give +1 fight to the unit, IIRC, which may mean an extra die in close combat (or one fewer from an attacker with higher fight).

Archers don't get that extra die in CC, but they can shoot, shoot and shoot.

The only other difference is that archers cost a mere 5 points more.

Shooting may be sub-par (I was disappointed, I admit) but for the points, at least in the case of the troops above, I see little reason not to just take archers only.

Something that occured to me, though- for the cost of three companies of Galadrim archers, you can get one company with a Stormcaller. While the unit won't be as durable (it's four hits from death!), you might get much better shooting damage out of that unit, just by spamming the Nature's Wrath. It would be interesting to see what a whole battery of those could do, rather than a lot of archers... think of it as Elvish artillery!

Xarius
21-04-2009, 19:19
shooting can be an effective asset to an army, driving the enemy back out of charge range if you destroy companies etc. also an ambushing unit like the rangers of ithilien is great as they can pop up, occupy terrain and shoot most of the time at stuff with no shield bonus. shooting monsters is highly recommended as things like the barlog will really mess you up in combat, it did take be about 130 shots but i brought it down before it could kill everything.

Babolat360
21-04-2009, 19:31
Very effective. This is probably because I use Vrasku's talons (3 companies) who can actually do a fair bit of damage with their str3/4 crossbows. First turn I usually do at the double! and then call a heroic shoot so I don't miss out on any opportunities to shoot and they're in a good position on the board. Being Uruk-hai, they are also good in combat and still get a chance to shoot after the combat in the following shoot phase. Well worth the points.

Jorgen_CAB
21-04-2009, 19:35
Well, I really have a much different view than what you have of what archers can do in the game.

I play with both Gondor and Mordor and I have seen my two armies pitched against each other several times now, and a few other armies. Gondor has a heavy advantage in missile troops. The Orcs field at the most one formation of archers that consist of either two or three companies. while Gondor has two formations of two companies each and three Ranger companies.

I have repeatedly managed to stall the Orcs from charging by forcing the beyond their charge range, killed trolls and Wargs in droves etc...

archers are painfully hard to dislodge from defensible terrain such as Woods and Buildings and they can shoot 360 degrees from them two (half companies rounded up may shoot).

I agree that shooting a shield wall in the front (7 defence) are pretty pointless so you must consider your targets priority and try to get shoots in their flanks. You can force units to turn by threatening to flank charge them etc...

If there is a hill in any deployment area and you get to choose side, it is obvious which side you take. Putting as many archer as you can on a hill and defend it with infantry is a no brainier, you archers will probably be able to shoot unhindered for several turns.
If the hill is a steep hill (most hills we use are) we give a penalty to any charges up the hill of -2 attacks for infantry and -1 attack for cavalry and monsters. Which gives them some relief from charges as well.

Anything that you hit with 6+ or better odds is shots worth taking.

In addition, some archers are good in melee as well when you need them, so they can serve more than one purpose.

One thing that many people forget is to use Captains with their archers. The captain can make them move on the double and shoot in the same turn, thus they can position them selves for a better shot and at the same time remove them from a threat. End result is a dead enemy.
Captain in archer units are very useful if you want to rush into central defensible terrain and effectively cause enemy units to move half speed.
Gondor archers with defense of five in a building have defense 7 and can hold their own for quite some time, including shooting in between all the charges against them. :)

Jorgen_CAB
21-04-2009, 19:44
Additionally as said above, I find that ambushers is very useful. Take them in size of three companies. Good for hiding in defensible terrain since two may shoot. This gives them eight models to absorb damage with before their shooting strength are diminished considerably.

TwilightOdyssey
21-04-2009, 19:50
I have found shooting to be very effective, especially when I took 20 companies of Hobbit Militia Archers. :)

rakath
21-04-2009, 20:01
I like how the archers work in WotR. If you want to use them effectively, you've got to move them and try to get those flank shots. Additionally, they restrict how enemies move - you don't want to end up in a position, where your flank is exposed to archers.

And being Str 1 or 2 isn't a big deal, because you have a LOT of dice to roll.

Archers aren't an all-powerful "kill everything on the table in one round" annihilation unit (like they can be in certain other GW products *cough*).
They're very effective in reducing the number of enemies coming at you, pushing them back and restricting their maneuvers.

Emissary
21-04-2009, 20:11
Agreed. I like how they work in this game. They don't just dominate everything across the table but present a very different tactical option. I also like how heroes in ranged companies actually work well. On the double + heroic shot is great if you can close the range and get to a flank where they don't get shields. Personally, I'm loving my orc trackers right now. The shoot value of 4+, plus the ambush ability mean they can get in there and start messing up your opponent once the battle starts. Plus by starting closeby they can get the S2 easier plus can activate their prowlers ability. Adding Grishnakz to the unit for the 3 might plus his ability to give them a 2+ shoot value is fantastic for 75 points.

tabletopnews
21-04-2009, 20:16
Currently I think shooting is sub-par, and that with the fast speed of the game, shooting isn't that useful for most of the armies out there.

I've taken it on the chin from an Elf force twice now and have had Warg Rider formations and Orcs chewed up by bow fire.

You can't look at it as a Str 1 or 2 issue. Even at a low Strength if you are rolling 16 - 30 dice in an attack you are going to take figures out and over a few turns you can chew up a formation quite well.

Orc bowmen are quite substandard but even they have a decent effect for their price considering that they can put out 8 dice a company.

Many armies also have Heroes that can boost shooting (especially the Elves) and even putting a Captain in a formation makes it a lot more effective.

I thought shooting was going to be pretty poor but I think that it is a good addition to the game and quite useful

xxRavenxx
21-04-2009, 20:20
I've lost several good trolls to less than their points in arrowfire. I'd say that shooting is very balanced, and tactical. Something I much prefer compared to other "melee orientated" games where odd armies (normally elves) can just place enough arrows to blott out the sun, and your only answer is to die in the shade ;)

FuzzyOrb
21-04-2009, 20:24
I have found shooting to be very effective, especially when I took 20 companies of Hobbit Militia Archers. :)

Oh, those little bastards with their shooting of 3...
;)

stonehorse
21-04-2009, 21:54
I see it as a tactical aspect that isn't too powerful, but adds a great deal of help to any army. I have had lucky games where I have been killing something silly like 9 High Elves per turn, that game was won through shooting.

By not taking shooting you are leaving your force as at a big loss, I'd recommend to take a least 2 small formations of Archers.

Jorgen_CAB
21-04-2009, 22:17
From a tactical perspective you could say that the side with an advantage in missile troops will decide when how and where you fight. The army that bring the most powerful fire advantage don't have to close with the enemy. Sooner or later that army will win through attrition alone, without risking their own forces.

Have you ever tried playing on a very large (deep) battlefield against someone with lots of artillery and longbows, I bet it would not be pretty at all?!

Babolat360
21-04-2009, 23:03
I also like how heroes in ranged companies actually work well. On the double + heroic shot is great if you can close the range and get to a flank where they don't get shields.

Really? Troops don't get shield defence bonuses when shot at the flank or rear? Do they get defence bonuses when flank or rear charged then?

Faeslayer
21-04-2009, 23:47
No, the shield bonus only applies to attacks from the front arc.

tabletopnews
22-04-2009, 00:05
Have you ever tried playing on a very large (deep) battlefield against someone with lots of artillery and longbows, I bet it would not be pretty at all?!

It would be if the game didn't have the On the Double move option. Cav can cross the board quite quickly using it

Faeslayer
22-04-2009, 02:44
It would be if the game didn't have the On the Double move option. Cav can cross the board quite quickly using it

Makes it easy to know what to shoot first...

Ethriel
22-04-2009, 03:27
With my shooting, I tend to focus on monsters or smaller units with my archers, and the bigger infantry blocks with my warmachines.

The avenger bolt thrower is excellent for these infantry blocks, with its str 6, the average Def 7 w/shields, is not overly hard to defeat, plus with the amount of shots it can put out is excellent for it's point costs....now if only they could take captains.

The only thing not to do with Warmachines, IMHO, is to place them in terrain, for although they get the 360 line of sight, they are destroyed if they are ever defeated in combat, for being pushed out of the terrain.

dtjunkie19
22-04-2009, 05:18
From a tactical perspective you could say that the side with an advantage in missile troops will decide when how and where you fight. The army that bring the most powerful fire advantage don't have to close with the enemy. Sooner or later that army will win through attrition alone, without risking their own forces.

Have you ever tried playing on a very large (deep) battlefield against someone with lots of artillery and longbows, I bet it would not be pretty at all?!

Thats not exactly true, it depends on the armies and the mission type. I'd be happy to let someone shoot at me every turn without moving up if the mission is high ground or seize the prize. I will scoop up a majority of prizes or get to the high ground then sit there and win the game without killing anything. But that only works with armies full of high defense troops.

tabletopnews
22-04-2009, 05:18
Makes it easy to know what to shoot first...

Well they will be close :-)

Faeslayer
22-04-2009, 06:28
Well they will be close :-)

They're such obliging targets!

Jorgen_CAB
22-04-2009, 07:46
Makes it easy to know what to shoot first...
Exactly... on a deep battlefield if the enemy charges forward with cavalry and infantry using the double move it will arrive at the battle line in bits and pieces. Double move does not work every time and you are bound to fail some of the rolls.
That will make targeting so much more easy, and lethal as well...

Mouldsta
22-04-2009, 13:33
I've found shooting pretty effective - I use harad, and their poisoned arrows can rack up the kills. I've found that archers are just as effective as normal infantry in CC (as there's no rank bonuses etc), but have an added advantage of only engaging when it's benificial to them since they can opt to shoot instead.

The drive back from a decent weight of fire (frequently on cav) can be a real boon in the oncoming combat, as it can be the difference between being flanked by cav and not.

Shooting is also very hardy for shredding those depleted formations - if they're down to the last company and trying to hide then a couple of kills from shooting can remove them from the game while your combat units focus on something more important. If an epic hero ever becomes stranded in a depleted formation.......

Reinholt
22-04-2009, 15:50
My view on shooting is this:

1 - The effectiveness varies by army. With the exception of Fallen Realms, I tend to think the good sides benefit more from shooting than the evil sides (countered by the fact that the evil sides tend to have better monsters). Bow fire is about volume; you need to put enough shots into low defense units or flanks to really mess them up.

2 - Large blocks of infantry with shields are the bane of shooting units. You just don't do anything to do them.

3 - I doubt you can win games with shooting alone, but conversely, it can definitely help you win a game. Softening up foes, finishing off wounded units, and eliminating things that would be problematic in close combat is key. There are also different kinds of shooting; if a foe had no (or very little) shooting of their own, an army heavy in Rohan's cavalry or Harad's cavalry could prove nightmarish, as they could spend a significant portion of the game whittling you down before closing for the kill. This is a sharp contrast to the archer lines that Gondor or the elves could set up, for instance.

Overall, I find shooting pretty balanced, and in any army that is not itself just extremely fast, it's worth taking at least a few shooting units.

Nu Fenix
22-04-2009, 18:00
Well today I played a 1500 point game where I tried out an army with no shooting, relying on getting close to the enemy and my high Defence to see me through.

I felt my army was better without shooting then it was with, and I just seemed to do better.

My opponent was playing Dwarves [or is it Dwarfs in LOTR?] and he had some terrific rolls with a pair of Ballistas, his normal shooting wasn't that great. His Throwing Weapons were useful, just not his normal bowfire which wasn't taking down many of my men.

I am pleased at how this discussion is going, even though I am against the majority with my views on shooting.

Xarius
22-04-2009, 18:18
I have found shooting to be very effective, especially when I took 20 companies of Hobbit Militia Archers. :)

you have 160 hobbits? :wtf:

stonehorse
23-04-2009, 00:17
Well today I played a 1500 point game where I tried out an army with no shooting, relying on getting close to the enemy and my high Defence to see me through.

I felt my army was better without shooting then it was with, and I just seemed to do better.

My opponent was playing Dwarves [or is it Dwarfs in LOTR?] and he had some terrific rolls with a pair of Ballistas, his normal shooting wasn't that great. His Throwing Weapons were useful, just not his normal bowfire which wasn't taking down many of my men.

I am pleased at how this discussion is going, even though I am against the majority with my views on shooting.

To be fair, Dwarfs have Short Bows, and have a weighty points cost. Which can play a big part. I'd suggest going against something like Gondor, or Elves to get a better taste of shooting.

One of my opponents was like yourself, and not convinced by shooting. After the game, he quickly changed his mind, and now has a few archers.

Nu Fenix
23-04-2009, 00:20
The range of his bows wasn't an issue, as I moved three units of infantry 24" on the first turn, so he was well within.

Also his archers are the same price as my Easterling Archers, and only 5 points more then Gondor bows, so I doubt the price was the issue for him.

If he was shooting at a horde army with lower Defence, his attitude may change. For now though, I'm happy kicking them in the shins then shooting them. Wheres the honour in shooting someone ;)

tabletopnews
23-04-2009, 03:24
If he was shooting at a horde army with lower Defence, his attitude may change.

The issue is less a problem with shooting and more a problem with shooting at Dwarves. They have a much higher average Defense than most troops so bows being fired at them is going to have less of an effect.

Jorgen_CAB
23-04-2009, 06:37
As far as I could see, he only had three companies of archers and two Ballistas. You mentioned that he rolled badly for the ballista, they are subject to luck since you don't roll that many dice. Though, with Epic Heros you could have one temporarily join it and use Might to make them more effective.

If you take more heavy shooting missile armies such as my Gondor army I would likely have six regular archer companies and three to six ranger companies with ambushing abilities. So by turn two you will most likely get six ranger companies (that is 60 shots, minimum) against you in the flank or back of those units. It will certainly hurt quite allot.

So you should not rule out missile fire from the game. It has been very important for me so far. Rangers in particular are very good.... they shoot for a couple of turns, then they charge the enemy in the flank or rear after they have been whittled down by my shield walls and missile fire.

I do recognize that Easterlings are tough troopers, especially when lead by Ringwraiths and in particular Khamul. But they can be killed by missile fire regardless...

Johnnyfrej
26-04-2009, 05:22
Wheres the honour in shooting someone ;)
Who's going to argue honor if your opponent's dead and your not? ;)

I'm pretty new to this game and am working on a Gondor army right now. It is designed to be Artillery-heavy (my 1.5k list has 8 Avengers and 2 Battlecries). Has anyone yet faced an army like this? If so what are the kinks?

Edonil
26-04-2009, 06:24
At the Double can really screw with a shooting army, that I've found. Shooting seems to be more of a support thing than a primary tactic. Me, I'm actually cutting back on my shooting for the most part- I play Mordor, and mine just isn't that good.

fubukii
27-04-2009, 07:55
take a bunch of mordor siege bows and your enemy will disagree with you on mordor shooting isnt good :)

Da Black Gobbo
27-04-2009, 09:32
I like how shooting perform in this game, i'm fielding a formation of 2 companies of Drár's hunters, they really do it with the special abbility that Drár grants them, they shoot 12 dices each company, so 24 shoots from 2 companies comming from the flanks (they ambush ^^ ) last game they munched a troll and about 20 moranonn orcs, they did it flawlessly.

tabletopnews
27-04-2009, 18:40
take a bunch of mordor siege bows and your enemy will disagree with you on mordor shooting isnt good :)

Artillery != shooting ;-)

Besides, unless you add a Hero to the unit you constantly run the risk of rolling 1s and getting nothing from the unit.

The last game I had against our local Gondor player he got one shot in from his Avengers before I overran it. :D

fubukii
27-04-2009, 20:49
well if you take a formation of 3 siege bows and shoot at formations of 4+ you actually get +1 to your roll to hit.

1-2 = miss oh well something has to fail
3-5 d6 str8 hits, pretty impressive
6+ d6+4 str 8 hits
48in range

with the plus one you only miss on a 1, and get a metric load of hits on a 5+. No hero if required, just shoot formations of 4 or more there should be a couple on the table.

Emissary
27-04-2009, 20:56
I think you only get the +1 if the formation has more then 4 companies not 4 or more companies. Overall, I think the siege bows work very well. In terms of points cost for what you get I think the mordor ones are the best buys.

Nu Fenix
27-04-2009, 21:03
Its got to be MORE then four companies in a formation, so would be 5+ for your +1 to the chart.

Plus, there won't be many left at that size for long if you shoot them to four or less companies.

Johnnyfrej
28-04-2009, 20:54
well if you take a formation of 3 siege bows and shoot at formations of 4+ you actually get +1 to your roll to hit.

1-2 = miss oh well something has to fail
3-5 d6 str8 hits, pretty impressive
6+ d6+4 str 8 hits
48in range

with the plus one you only miss on a 1, and get a metric load of hits on a 5+. No hero if required, just shoot formations of 4 or more there should be a couple on the table.
I could be mistaken but I think you are wrong. If you are talking about those Bolt-throwers from Isangard and the like (Avenger, Dwarf Ballista) they do not use the Artillery table. They simply roll a d6 per weapon. Also only the Avenger has the 3-5=d6+4 and 6=d6+8. All others afaik roll 1-2=miss, 3-5=d6 and 6=d6+4.

Emissary
28-04-2009, 20:57
The tables are different, but the modifiers for the tables are the same.

Johnnyfrej
28-04-2009, 21:12
The tables are different, but the modifiers for the tables are the same.
Ahh, thanks for clearing that up. That makes my Siege Company gondor army even better.